Fri. Jul 12th, 2024


The Child Protection Network (CPN) Abia, a coalition of state and non-state actors committed to safeguarding children’s rights, has expressed its willingness to collaborate with Governor Alex Otti’s administration to ensure the safety and security of children in Abia State, maintaining that child abductions and trafficking are preventable.

In a release signed by Amb. Onyinyechi Joy Nwosu, CPN State Coordinator and made available to newsmen, the organization recommended that Government should initiate a unique identification system with serial ID numbers and colour-specific transparent jacket uniforms for tricycle riders in the state as part of the security measures.

The release read, “CPN Abia extends its heartfelt congratulations to Governor Alex Otti on his successful first year in office and commends his efforts to ensure the well-being of children in Abia State. The network appreciates the governor’s prompt response to recent cases of missing children, which led to their recovery and reunion with their families.

“Despite these commendable efforts, CPN Abia expresses deep concern over the recurring cases of missing children. Since November 2023, the state has witnessed several alarming incidents, including: November 28, 2023: Four siblings went missing in Umuahia while on their way to school. The tricycle rider disappeared with them to an unidentified destination.

“December 7, 2023: Three other children were abducted by a co-tenant in Umuahia.

“May 17, 2024: Three children of Mr. and Mrs. Osinachi went missing after boarding a tricycle on their way home.

“These incidents have caused immense suffering to the affected families and have tarnished the reputation of Abia State, highlighting the urgent need for a comprehensive strategy to prevent child abductions and trafficking”.

CPN Abia further recommended the strengthening of Law Enforcement, to ensure prompt arrest and prosecution of all individuals involved in child abductions and trafficking, including those previously released under suspicious circumstances, and provision of specialized training for law enforcement officers on handling cases of child abduction and trafficking.

Other recommendations include: regulatory oversight, which will involve the establishment of the Abia State Orphanage/Social Home Regulatory Committee, comprising key stakeholders from relevant ministries and civil society, to oversee operations of orphanages and social homes.

CPN also called for Legislative Action, through the setting up of a committee to review and strengthen the Abia Child Rights Law, and ensuring adequate protection for children and punishment for violators; and also to develop and implement comprehensive policies addressing child safety.

On the Community Engagement and Awareness, CPN Abia stated that this could be achieved through the launch of statewide public awareness campaigns on child trafficking and through encouragement of community watch programmes and the establishment of neighbourhood safety networks to monitor and report suspicious activities.

 The organization also called for support services to the survivors through the provision of psychological support and rehabilitation services particularly for children rescued from trafficking and abduction.

 According to the organization, initiating family support programs for vulnerable communities and establishing Shelters and Sexual Assault Referral Centers (SARCs) in the three senatorial zones would also help to provide safe havens and comprehensive support for rescued children.

CPN further called for collaboration with Civil Society, adding that such would strengthen partnerships with civil society organizations like CPN and other child-focused organizations to leverage their expertise and resources.


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